How to survive a Janathon – 10 top tips

Posted: January 1, 2014 in Had fun doing this one, Injury, Janathon, running
Tags: , , , , ,

So you’ve somehow heard about Janathon. You think it could be fun, exercising and blogging everyday in January. You like a challenge so you figured “why not?” and you’ve signed up.


If this is your first time, you may figure that coming up with something interesting to write everyday can’t be that hard, and to be fair, it might not be for you… in which case – fine… you have no need to read on. But if you’d like a few pointers from someone that doesn’t really know what he’s on about either (but has three years experience of such), then read on.

I did my first Janathon 3 years ago and loved the randomness of thinking of different things to do and write about each day. I had never done this blogging thing before and I was pretty new to running too so it was all quite exciting really. My most viewed post still remains one of my first (alas, it is true, I have gone downhill since then) but I think that was due to referencing so many other bloggers.

Which brings me onto my first tip.

1) Read other people’s blogs (and comment on them)

There are likely to be a couple of hundred or so people doing this thing and the chances are that a few of them are going to write some interesting/helpful/entertaining/inspiring/supportive things that you identify with…
… but they may take some searching out. Even once you’ve found a few such blogs, there will likely be at least a few days of the month when these people feel tired, uninspired or mojo deficient, but it’s probably best not to tell them their post was not up to their usual standard… actually, scratch that… do tell them… they might not know otherwise and continue producing drivel.

2) …but don’t expect people to read yours.

Seriously. There are likely to be a hundred or so people doing this thing and that is a lot of blogs for anyone to try and read through all of them. It isn’t going to happen. Chances are people will (like you) regularly read a few of the blogs that they have somehow stumbled across and identified with, but they may not have time to to this every day for every blog they read. Don’t take it personally.
I like THIS PHILOSOPHY, myself. So please, ignore what I wrote just now, feel free to come or go as you wish. Comment or not, I actually really don’t mind. I’m not trying to create some sort of brand or running empire here. I do not forward my statistics to the media or marketing companies.
I write and run just for fun.

3) Have a theme (maybe)

It can be useful to have some sort of theme so that your readers know what to expect from your blog (unless what you want them to expect is the unexpected) but don’t just tell me your: time, distance covered, average pace, top speed, maximum heart rate, route taken, etc and expect me to still be awake two minutes later.

5) Be original.

This is often easier said than done, so don’t get too tied up on it. But if you can come up with a new take on something or present it in such a way as to make it entertaining or easily digestible then, great. If not, just be you. Don’t try to be someone else, they will always be a better them than you can.

6) Don’t continually whine about your broken shoulder (or plantar fasciitis)

Even if you have a broken shoulder which is really frustrating and although you can still function it makes you feel less of a human being and it somehow seems to have stripped away a little bit of your self image and left you feeling a different person somehow, don’t let the fact that you have a broken shoulder (which annoyingly sometimes seems fine and at others renders you incapable of passing someone a packet of crisps) take over in any way from whatever else you have to write.

By all means tell people but don’t keep going on about it all the time.

They will get bored.

Even if you include pictures…

20131228-073115.jpg like that, people will still get bored. Especially if they’ve seen them before.
Even if you turn it into a game…

20131228-073449.jpg like that or like this…

20131228-073618.jpg …it doesn’t matter. It just gets a bit tedious.
(That last picture for any newcomers to my blog, was ‘Planter Fascist Eye-Test’ get it? Hilarious, I’m sure.)

So to recap – Don’t mention the broken shoulder.
(I mentioned it once but I think I got away with it).

7) Do include photographs.
Here’s one of my broken shoulder for example…
And here’s another of a parkrun at Christmas…
Or a nice field with a funky looking cloud…

I think you get the idea. They break up the writing and make it easier for people with short attention spans to…oh look a squirrel!
If you are feeling so inclined you could create a Janathon blog post using only photographs/images (but I warn you, this is more time consuming than it looks).

8) If in doubt. Keep it short.

9) Don’t try to follow some magic formula.

Someone will always come up with a list of 10 rules to writing a blog, or something similar.
Ignore them.
Have fun.
Do your own thing.

And finally…
10) If you want to be taken seriously, never, EVER, under any circumstances, forget rule number 4.





11) Set clear expectations/boundaries and stick to them.


Oh and I almost forgot…

Today I ran: for a bit at midnight just so I could post this up nice and early

My maximum heart rate was: a lot quicker than it should have been

My pace was: generally pretty rubbish

I wore: myself out

Also….Contemplating a parkrun in my dressing gown later this morning.

  1. Chris Dahl says:

    off to a great start. I will definitely follow rule no. 4. happy 2014!

  2. Jogblog says:

    My favourite Janathon 2014 blog post so far!

  3. runorgocrazy says:

    Brilliantly summarised!

  4. Ahem, what I was trying to say was excellent advice for both the Janathon novice and veteran alike. However it’s stupid o’clock in the morning and my eyes/thumb doesn’t work. PS. Have you hurt your shoulder…?

  5. Sharon says:

    Up to your usual standards, but can you keep it up fir the next 30 days? Been wondering how the shoulder is, take it all is fine?

  6. Tubontherun says:

    Sorry, did you mention that you’d hurt your shoulder? I wasn’t quite sure ๐Ÿ™‚

    Hope it is ok and you’re on the mend though – it looks painful (speaking as someone who merely dislocated her shoulder).

    I remember that one of your first posts I read was about the offensive apostrophe (“Don’t feed the horse’s” if I remember correctly), and you had me hooked from then.

    Happy Janathon!

  7. fitflo says:

    Great summary, I’m definitely a distracted by pictures person – the cloud one was my fave. Can’t believe your shoulder is still bad – seems like it’s been aaaaaaages.

    • It has healed wonky (that’s the medical term) it is unlikely to improve. Trying to do all the things I love and decide if the accompanying discomfort is something I can live with or if I should risk an operation.

  8. Good advice! Especially rule number 4….

  9. plustenner says:


  10. Excellent post but my god man your shoulder!! What have you done to break it? And a dressing gown dash? Pics or it didn’t happen!

    • The dressing gown dash didn’t happen today… But I managed a 25 min 5k.
      I had to cycle there see which took nearly 50 mins.

      • Hels says:

        I am very unhappy. I tweeted you after midnight to say that I expected a dressing gown parkrun! I was looking forward to it.

        Great blog post, it made me chuckle ๐Ÿ˜€

      • I know. I apologise. I really was up for it too. But being full of mince pies and champagne I knew a PB wasn’t on so I thought taking the car was such a waste, and there just wasn’t enough room in my bag. #festivalofexcuses

  11. dadoorunrun says:

    sorry to hear about the injuries, but if laughter really is the best medicine you are in the right place this month! looking forward to a month of giggles

  12. runtezza says:

    Haha brill post. Lemme tell you about my plantar fasciitis….

  13. Sarah Passey says:

    Well done on your midnight run, being the first Janathon blog poster, and your later parkrun/cycle. Makes my 2 mile run look RUBBISH ๐Ÿ˜‰

  14. I already failed. I forgot number 4 so I scrolled back up to memorize it. Now I’ll never forget #4. Thanks for the tip.

  15. […] notmuchofarunner‘s tips, I am including some superfluous interesting photos that have nothing to do with […]

  16. abradypus says:

    Yes, yes, yes on rule number 2. And 4, of course ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Leosuse says:

    Brilliant for a newbie like me ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. rundmach says:

    I love this post!!! I love your little run summary at the end, thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. […] Much of a Runner wrote an excellent post about preparing for the -athons, and I am genuinely wishing that I had paid a bit more heed to his warnings sage advice. ย Needless […]

  20. […] to my plan… ย A much greater and wiser man than I wrote some key tips on how to survive Janathon. ย I think I have pegged the whole reading and commenting on other blogs. ย I’ve added as […]

  21. […] 10 tips to help you survive Janathon (or something like that) This was genuinely one off my better posts so if if you haven’t seen it before and especially if you are new to blogging, it’s worth a quick peek. […]

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